DOH, PNP eyes possible set-up of rehabilitation centers in some PH islands

  • DOH is considering setting up rehab centers in some islands in the country
  • This was based on a suggestion by PNP Chief Bato dela Rosa
  • There have been more than 41,000 drug dependents who surrendered as of July

The Department of Health (DOH), taking in the recommendation of Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Ronald dela Rosa, is considering the use of some islands of the country as rehabilitation centers for drug dependents.

Due to the intensified campaign against illegal drugs under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, up to 41,000 drug users have already surrendered to the PNP as of July 11, according to a report by ABS-CBN News.

However, there are currently only 20 drug rehabilitation facilities across the country run by the DOH and some local government units (LGUs) which have the capacity to accept up to 5,000 patients only.

DOH Secretary Paulyn Rosell-Ubial said the department will be releasing a standard assessment of drug dependents in order to properly designate where they should be held.

The DOH plans to separate those with criminal liabilities, who will be placed in jail, from those who will be sent to rehabilitation facilities or community-based drug rehabilitation centers.

As for the possible location of the rehab centers, the DOH plans to use islands currently under the ownership of the national government

Yung idea na ilagay yung mga for rehab na nag-surrender sa mga isla, is kay PNP head Bato dela Rosa. For security reasons and also ‘yung parang matututukan sila. [The idea to put those who surrendered for rehab in islands is from PNP head Bato dela Rosa. This is for security reasons and so that they can be given proper care],” Ubial explained to GMA News.

If the plan is approved, the DOH plans to tap resources from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to set up the tents and beds needed to set up the rehabilitation facilities in these islands.

Madali ‘yun gawin ng military or AFP Engineering Brigade. Mga tents, mga cot beds. [It will be easily done by the military or the Engineering Brigade. These tents and cot beds],” she said.